My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) picks up on last week's post examining the mounting concerns over the Sony rootkit class action settlement in Canada. The column touches on many of the same themes – less compensation, no security review, and no injunctive relief. I conclude […]
Archive for September, 2006
Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 18, 2006 as Rootkit Settlement Gives Canadians Short Shrift The Sony rootkit controversy generated enormous public attention last year after it was disclosed that the company inserted faulty copy-protection software onto dozens of CDs, rendering hundreds of thousands of personal computers vulnerable to […]
Yesterday's post identified the availability of circumvention devices as a one foundational issue. The second foundational issue is protection against contracts that seek to trump the law by contracting out of the copyright balance or, in the event that anti-circumvention legislation is introduced, statutory circumvention rights. The use of contractual […]
A Belgian court last week ruled against Google in a case involving the copyright issues associated with Google News. I haven't seen any news coverage of the ruling, which cited both copyright and the EU database directive, but a copy of the decision has been posted on the Chilling Effects […]
Over the past 28 days, this series has addressed circumvention issues both big and small. I have saved the two most important issues for the end since I believe that without addressing these two issues, many of the other recommendations are rendered ineffective.
The first issue is that Canada must not establish a ban or prohibition on devices that can be used to circumvent DRM. Bill C-60 did not contain a provision prohibiting circumvention devices and that approach should be retained in any future legislation.
The DMCA features just such a ban. Section 1201(a)(2) provides that:
No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that –
(B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or
(C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person's knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
The DeCSS case demonstrated the breadth of this approach when merely linking to a devices (devices really refers to software that is able to crack a DRM system) was ruled sufficient to violate the statute.
The past 28 days have illustrated that there are numerous legitimate uses for all circumvention devices.